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Schwinn Varsity upgrades

Old 05-26-12, 01:30 PM
  #101  
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sneakywrist wrote:

"well , my other 66cm Varsity keeps starring at me....hmmmm what to do......and so it begins, AGAIN"


Time to start evaluating what changes you'd like on the next build, perhaps to suit a particular terrain or riding speed.
Maybe a second Varsity needs rack and fenders, or Ergo-Shifters, or...

How's the stem length working out on the current bike?
You could always use a longer-reach handlebar in lieu of changing to a longer stem, but only if needed.

Take your time, tend to the usual fine-tuning, and if your "dream Varsity" hasn't yet materialized, the next one could be a longer-term assemblage based on continuous test-riding of the current one.
But better to just enjoy what you've built for now, you've earned it.

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Old 05-30-12, 05:37 AM
  #102  
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The long stem is great. Do to my injuries the taller stem helps out tremendously. I'm trying to find a matching group set to use on the next build. 2x7 or 3x7 group set with brifters. Don't know what chainring size to go with either. Would like to try a 3 piece crank on this one. Still up in the air, but I will be taking my time on this one.
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Old 05-30-12, 02:40 PM
  #103  
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Yeah, I didn't know you wanted a taller stem (as opposed to longer horizontally).

You really picked the right bike then, since the layed-back angles on these bikes work perfectly with higher bars to give still-stable handling.
The same can't be said for most other road bikes.
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Old 05-30-12, 09:00 PM
  #104  
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True it does handle well....
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Old 07-12-12, 09:41 PM
  #105  
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My son and I are just starting to assemble our first varsity, (I should say disassemble at the moment as it's in pieces in the basement), and I think this thread will be invaluable.

Nice job sneaky those bikes look fantastic.
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Old 07-16-12, 06:53 AM
  #106  
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Why thank you..... I have to give credit to all who posted valuable information. I have one frame left and will be attacking it this winter.
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Old 06-03-13, 03:35 PM
  #107  
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This was a thread I was looking for.....now to get some more info from sneaky.
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Old 07-22-15, 03:50 PM
  #108  
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I just tore down my varsity last night and want to build something like the green one. I am new to this where is the best place to start?
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Old 07-22-15, 05:00 PM
  #109  
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Originally Posted by 85notch View Post
I just tore down my varsity last night and want to build something like the green one. I am new to this where is the best place to start?
I use the opportunistic approach to builds, taking on a project when the right bike and parts are at hand and or are at a "market low" price.

For starters though, I would want to see the bike photographed as currently set up for the rider (you). And what parts and/or budget is available. Can I assume you already know how to work on bikes?

This way, I can suggest a build that complements and takes advantage of the current fit situation. I always recommend a rider selecting the very largest Varsity, Continental (or Huffy/Murray) that they can straddle, as the frame angles and very high bottom bracket of these frames always conspire to produce a very small-feeling bike while riding(!!!)(short in length/reach and short in headset/bar height). I might even suggest a different frame size at that point, but could offer an opinion as to what handlebar stem, bars and saddle-clamp orientation would likely produce a good ride.
I am a fairly long-legged and fit 5'9" and would use a 25" Varsity frame if that size had been made, since the 26" frame is too tall at the top tube due to the very high bottom bracket.

This 24" Varsity fits me small in forward length/reach but is correct in terms of the bars height. Not too bad though after installing the 9cm (vs. 7.5cm) stem and cutting an inch off of the handlebar ends for knee clearance while attacking steep hills. It's absolutely perfect for riding around town however.

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Old 07-22-15, 05:07 PM
  #110  
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
I use the opportunistic approach to builds, taking on a project when the right bike and parts are at hand and or are at a "market low" price.

For starters though, I would want to see the bike photographed as currently set up for the rider (you). And what parts and/or budget is available. Can I assume you already know how to work on bikes?

This way, I can suggest a build that complements and takes advantage of the current fit situation. I always recommend a rider selecting the very largest Varsity, Continental (or Huffy/Murray) that they can straddle, as the frame angles and very high bottom bracket of these frames always conspire to produce a very small-feeling bike while riding(!!!)(short in length/reach and short in headset/bar height). I might even suggest a different frame size at that point, but could offer an opinion as to what handlebar stem, bars and saddle-clamp orientation would likely produce a good ride.
I am a fairly long-legged and fit 5'9" and would use a 25" Varsity frame if that size had been made, since the 26" frame is too tall at the top tube due to the very high bottom bracket.

This 24" Varsity fits me small in forward length/reach but is correct in terms of the bars height. Not too bad though after installing the 9cm (vs. 7.5cm) stem and cutting an inch off of the handlebar ends for knee clearance while attacking steep hills. It's absolutely perfect for riding around town however.

I will upload some pictures of said bike that I have tomorrow. I bought a mens and womans complete in rougher shape but decided to make it a project instead of scrapping them. I have three bikes right now that I want to re build but am starting with my varsity. I have worked on cars my whole life and used to ride bmx when I was younger. So a lot of this is going to be new to me and what is needed. On your green bike did you keep the shift levers?
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Old 07-22-15, 07:12 PM
  #111  
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drop bars were bent on mine plus I am not a fan of drop bars.......this conversion cost me nothing... I had all the parts in my parts bin
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Old 07-23-15, 11:50 AM
  #112  
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Originally Posted by junkman71 View Post


drop bars were bent on mine plus I am not a fan of drop bars.......this conversion cost me nothing... I had all the parts in my parts bin
Not a bad move at all. In fact, I suggest that the Varsity/Continental (and older Huffy and Murray) frame platforms were designed in the exact pattern of a frameset intended for "upright" handlebars of the old "3-speed" style.

So if anything, these bikes are better with upright bars than with road bars, suiting flatter terrain that doesn't require the rider to "hang forward" out of the saddle on abrupt climbs.
This has much to do with the bar's grip position being "closer" to (positioned more rearward toward) the steering axis, as on your practical machine.

For a "road" build with road-style drop bars, and where some sprinting and/or attacking steep grades is anticipated, the largest frame possible should be used, and with a proportionately wider handlebar balancing any increase in handlebar stem length, to maintain neutral steering without "steering heave" when pedaling vigorously out of the saddle.
Some riders will simply not have sufficient relative inseam length to comfortably ride a performance-fitted Varsity or Continental, so shorter-legged riders might be well advised consider the more-sporting Super Sport platform instead. The Super Sport frame has a normal bottom bracket height and so can have a much lower top tube for any given frame size and an even much much lower top tube height for any given effective forward reach. As well, the Super Sport's steeper headtube angle (73 vs. 70-degrees) allows use of a longer stem or longer-reaching handlebar without fowling up the steering, while using a more-normal (narrower) handlebar.
@85notch; I kept the old Huret DT shift levers from the green '64 Varsity. These are the ones with the redundant but sleek "integrated" housing ferrules plugging into the lever's "body". They fit the welded-on shift lever bosses of the 1960's bikes that came with DT levers.
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Old 07-23-15, 11:57 AM
  #113  
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I have rode it both ways and like the current setup better
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Old 07-23-15, 12:52 PM
  #114  
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This is what I am starting with, what should be the first parts that I start buying?

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Old 07-23-15, 12:54 PM
  #115  
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Where is the best place to shop for new lines for it all around as well?
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Old 07-23-15, 09:03 PM
  #116  
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local bike shop, online vendors like bikeman4u.com, performance bike etc etc..... and also amazon.com
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Old 07-23-15, 09:18 PM
  #117  
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Originally Posted by 85notch View Post
Where is the best place to shop for new lines for it all around as well?
If you are meaning "cables", you can find the full kit at Walmart for 7.00 or so. Decent cables, too.
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Old 07-23-15, 09:29 PM
  #118  
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Thank you guys for the help this is my first attempt at a bike rebuild. I have done a few cars and am mechanically able to do the work I just need suggestions on parts to buy and best way to do what I want out of the bike. I am not going to race it or anything, I just want a fun bike I built to ride. I also have the female version of this bike and a old Sears cruiser I am going to redo.
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Old 07-23-15, 09:30 PM
  #119  
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Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
If you are meaning "cables", you can find the full kit at Walmart for 7.00 or so. Decent cables, too.
Cables is what I meant I am used to referencing "lines" because of cars that I have always worked on.
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Old 07-23-15, 09:34 PM
  #120  
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Originally Posted by 85notch View Post
Cables is what I meant I am used to referencing "lines" because of cars that I have always worked on.
Gotcha. Save the older housings/outers so you can trim the new ones.
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Old 07-23-15, 09:48 PM
  #121  
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Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
Gotcha. Save the older housings/outers so you can trim the new ones.
I saved everything off of the bike so far.
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Old 07-23-15, 10:03 PM
  #122  
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Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
If you are meaning "cables", you can find the full kit at Walmart for 7.00 or so. Decent cables, too.
thats what I used on mine...lol
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Old 07-24-15, 06:38 AM
  #123  
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I bought a Paramount to restore and it had these drive train components and rims on it. Instead of selling them for dirt cheap I thought they would look cool on an old Varsity. This is one of my favorite bikes as far as styling goes. I love these tires as well, these I bought new.
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Old 07-24-15, 01:00 PM
  #124  
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ok, I have posted the picture of the bike. I tore it all down to just the frame. the frame and fork with be sent out to powdercoating next week. I would like to use the origin 8 crank. What do I all need to purchase to make this work?
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Old 09-09-15, 07:43 PM
  #125  
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Gents, I have a 1974 Varsity. Brake cables are rusty. After hours of adjusting, I'm guessing the rust os the root cause as to why they won't spring back.

Can you recommend replacement cable and where to purchase?

I was planning on routing new cable through the old housing but if it's easier to fish the cable through new housing, that's fine. I'd like to keep the original gray housing but I noticed some cables are color. I'm thinking an orange housing might look good with the Sunset Orange paint.

Thanks!
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